Nettles that have lined our roadsides all summer long are just about to go, but before they do, gather a handful for a tasty nettle soup. This is a particularly good version of nettle soup taken from the wonderful Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen, which can be purchased here. We can not recommend it enough.

45g butter
110g onions, chopped
150g potatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 liter chicken stock
150g young nettles, washed and chopped
150ml full-cream milk


Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the chopped onion and potato, toss them in the butter until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover with a butter wrapper (to trap the steam) and the saucepan lid, and sweat over a gentle heat for 1 minute, or until the vegetables are soft but not coloured. Discard the butter wrapper, add the stock and boil until the vegetables are just cooked.

Add the nettle leaves and simmer uncovered for just a few minutes. Do not overcook or the vegetables will lose their flavour. Add the milk and liquidise. Taste and add seasoning if necessary.

Serve hot with some homemade Irish soda bread.